President Museveni yesterday Met with the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on Local Governments at State house Entebbe.
They presented to him a report on the findings on the performance of accounting officers of District Local Governments and Municipal Councils countrywide and irregularities in service delivery to the public.
On the issue of insufficient resources that the central governments gives to districts, the president advised that politicians and the administrative class should learn from the experience of the NRM, where it uses scarce resources to achieve maximum impact.
“Local governments need to prioritise especially because we have scarce resources. Not every thing can be done at the same time’, the President said.
‘Although the budget for local governments has been increased from Shs5b to Shs32000b, it is an illusion to think you can be every where and do everything at the same time’, Museveni added.
He said Local governments should prioritise roads, electricity, health, education and defense, and as the resource envelope increases, tackle other areas.
The president however agreed with the committee that there is a lot of dishonesty in local governments.
‘Even the little resources we have are stolen. Government does not condone this, we are going to terminate the services of these officers and prosecute them’., Museveni promised.
Museveni discouraged the districts from taxing the poor people as a way of raising the local revenue.
‘For instance in Lukaya, you tax gonja sellers and mchomo sellers. Why don’t you leave them and collect the annual tax only? Let them make money, they will purchase other goods that are already taxed like alcohol’, he said.
Regarding the education, the president noted that there is unspeakable corruption in the sector. He added that the current minister, Janet Museveni has seen it and reforms are underway.
‘There is need for a total overhaul there. Recently, someone in procurement was sacked. Government will do a technical audit of the schools’, Museveni nodded.
On creation of districts, he defended the decision saying some of them were created because of ethnicity and others for geographical reasons like Moyo and Adjumani which are separated by water.
He however expressed concern that some people now want districts for greedy reasons.
‘We can halt creation of districts for some years if we agree. We are spending 40% of the budget on the wage and administrative bills. They can wait till we have more money’, he retorted.